Canada’s spy agencies frequently consult the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept Canadians’ communications, a fact which has become evident from information emerging from a series of court cases. In March of 2014, a Federal Court judge ordered details of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) surveillance practices be made available for scrutiny, however, the agencies have so far stonewalled the Court’s request.
Jon Penney, a law professor at Dalhousie University and Research Fellow at the Citizen Lab, was interviewed by VICE Motherboard regarding the dynamic between Canada’s security agencies and the courts. He said that the government has tended to fight back against the court’s insistence that CSIS and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) must keep them up to date on their operations.
Penney goes on to explain that the federal government seems largely unfazed by the court’s restraint on CSIS, and introduced legislation specifically legalizing CSIS’s cooperation with the NSA in the form of Bill C-44. This bill would do away with the restriction on using CSIS to spy on international targets, and expand its mandate as a result.